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Child Rescue Centre launched in Kakuma

Turkana County has launched a Child Rescue Centre in Turkana West sub-county, to support street children in Kakuma town, Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Settlement.

The facility which will provide temporary shelter for six months to children, who become survivors of violence and trauma, is the second such institution in Turkana after one at Lodwar.

During the launch, the officials planted trees to commemorate the event and inspected the child centre.

The Department of Education, Social Protection and Sports, took the lead in organizing the event. The partners who supported the event were; the International Rescue Committee (IRC), UNWOMEN, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and ISRAAID were equally recognized.

Speaking during the launch, the County Executive for Education, Sports and Social Protection, Leah Audan confirmed, that the county will work closely with the State Departments of children and Aftercare services to enrich the quality and variety of services at the centre moving forward.

She emphasized social protection interventions for children, were important enablers in achieving Sustainable Development Goals as envisioned by the Global League of the United Nations. The CECM therefore called on stakeholders to continue supporting the Centre for Sustainability.

The County Executive categorically acknowledged the immense support of IRC, UNWOMEN and ISRAAID for availing bedding materials, access to sustainable water supply and seamless service provision at the centre.

“In addition to what we have provided, I am happy that stakeholders are offering psycho-social services, material assistance, and networking opportunities. As a government, we are responsible to ensure the centre gets enough and qualified staff to provide the services required.” CECM Audan added.

The Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Kakuma, Eliud Emoni divulged that the idea for a Children’s rescue centre was birthed by the local leaders who presented it to the government as a priority noting that is excited the centre has been commissioned.

He restated the need for the stakeholders to continue supporting the centre until it is a fully established facility.

The MCA promised to rally fellow MCAs in increasing budgetary allocation for the two rescue centres and the entire Social Protection Department.

Further, he said, the Kakuma community and its entire leadership had agreed on allocating additional 10 hectares of land, to allow for future expansion.

The opening of the child-friendly facility signifies the commitment of the County Government and other actors in the children’s services sector to improving access to such services against such background of increasing number of street children and thus, the increasing reports of violence against children in Turkana.

By Peter Gitonga

 

 

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